During a Ted.com talk in 2006, Anthony Robbins-a personal development writer and motivational speaker who has written books such as “Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement” and “Awaken the Giant Within” -asked the following question: When people fail to achieve something, what are the reasons that they give?
Here are the reasons:
They didn’t have enough money;
They didn’t know enough;
They didn’t have the time;
They lacked the necessary technology, and so on.
In other words, they argue that they didn’t have the necessary resources. In fact, it may be an accurate statement that they lacked these resources. However, not having the necessary resources is not the defining factor. Instead, the defining factor is resourcefulness. Robbins adds that if people are resourceful enough, if they’re creative and determined enough, they’ll find a way to achieve whatever they’re after.
In addition, Robbins explains that our ability to be resourceful largely depends on what we choose to focus on. Each moment of our life we’re making the following three decisions:
1. What am I going to focus on?
2. What does it mean? (As soon as you focus on something you give it meaning; whatever meaning you give to it produces emotion.)
3. What am I going to do? (Emotion then drives you toward taking action.)
As an example of the power of focus, Robbins refers to Lance Armstrong: he was told he had testicular cancer, which then metastasized to his brain and lungs. Although the original prognosis that Armstrong received was poor, he went off and won the Tour de France a record-breaking seven consecutive years, from 1999 to 2005.
It’s important to consider that Armstrong did not win the Tour de France even once before being diagnosed with cancer. Robbins argues that it was fighting off this disease which gave Armstrong the mental and emotional focus he needed to win those championships.
In addition, Robbins uses himself as an example. The Thanksgiving in which Robbins was eleven years old his family was very poor. They weren’t starving, but they had very little. Then someone came to the door and offered them food so that they could celebrate Thanksgiving dinner. Robbin’s father chose to focus on the food as charity; having to receive charity meant that he was worthless; this led him to leave his family.
Robbins, instead, chose to focus on the fact that they now had food for Thanksgiving. The meaning he gave to this was that complete strangers cared about him and had gone out of their way to make sure that he was taken care of. If others cared for him, then Robbins concluded that he would also care for others.
This led him to commit himself to reach a level of success that would allow him to help other people of low means have good meals for the Holidays. Today Robbin’s foundation feeds over two million people worldwide each year during the Holiday season.
So what do you choose to focus on? Are you focused on what you’re lacking, and how this lack is going to prevent you from reaching your goals? Or are you focused on what you do have, or on what you can do, and planning on ways to leverage that? Keep in mind that by focusing on how you can achieve your goals you can find resourceful ways to reach your objectives.